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Adding hard drive space... quick!

Posted on 2006-07-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hey all, I just looked at my server and saw that it is 97% full in the /home folder.

My tech guy that knows Linux is on holidays.  Can I just buy a hard drive, plug it in, and run some simple commands to make the /home folder use that new space?

It would be important that users don't have to be moved around and that I don't have to have a /home and /home2 type scenario.  I though I remember Rob (our tech) mentioning we could simply add HDD as needed.

Thanks.

 - Steven
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Question by:s_mack
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Expert Comment

by:Nopius
ID: 17056101
>  Can I just buy a hard drive, plug it in, and run some simple commands to make the /home folder use that new space?
not very simple, but it's possible with a software raid.
Recommended scenario (downtime is  required):
0) Boot to singlemode
1) Make full backup
2) Turn off machine, add new drive
3) Turn on into singlemode
4) Create new software RAID device (LINEAR or 0 level,  also probably you need to repartition and create separate boot partition)
5) Create new filesystem on that new raid device, it will be your new /home partition, fix /etc/fstab entries to point to new /home device
6) Restore /home
7) Boot as always
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Accepted Solution

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ahoffmann earned 500 total points
ID: 17056621
1) plug in the drive (proper jumperd as slave or secondary if it is IDE)
2) partition drive as you like
3) change /etc/fstab and add an entry for each partition
4) create a mount point for each partion (see 3))
5) mv your "heavy" users to new partiotion
6) delete moved users (see 5))
7) create a symbolic link for these users

example for 4) to 7) assuming a new disk hdb with only one partition and a user named heavy:

4) mkdir /newhome; mount /dev/hdb1 /newhome
5) cd /newhome; (cd /home && tar cf heavy -)|tar xf -
6) rm -rf /home/heavy
7) ln -s /newhome/heavy /home/heavy

you made a backup before starting, for sure :-))
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Author Comment

by:s_mack
ID: 17062851
Do these methods result in NO changes from the user's perspective?  

I have a 320GB HD on order, hopefully it gets here before the last 3% is used up :)

 - Steven
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Expert Comment

by:DonConsolio
ID: 17063200
Another quick fix to buy you a some 4-5% of space would be to use "tune2fs  -m 1"
or "tune2fs  -m 0" ro set rhe reserved space on your drive to 1% ( or 0%) if your filesystem
is ext2 or ext3 (or a corresponding tool on other filesystems).

Use with caution and only as a temporary fix - it might make yout filesystem slower when it
id filling up.

HOTWO:
as root:
unmount the /home filesystem
use "tune2fs -m 1 /dev/XXXX" (1% reserved instead of the default 5%)
remount /home



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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 17064166
>  Do these methods result in NO changes from the user's perspective?  
yes (beside the part that the home directory is symbolic link)
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Author Comment

by:s_mack
ID: 17084233
I just wanted to update and say ahoffmann's answer worked great, except for this line:

5) cd /newhome; (cd /home && tar cf heavy -)|tar xf -

which simply returned some error about "heavy" being a directory (of course, I changed heavy to apply to me, and of course its a directory!)

I figured it is probably a simple syntax issue, but I just used mv instead and it seemed to work.  I'm not a Linux guy at all, but I think what the line is supposed to do is "zip" (for lack of a better word) the old folder, move it to the new one, and unzip it there.  Probalby faster than mv, because mv took a long time.  I thought that perhaps "heavy" should have a trailing slash, but I don't understand enough to try monkeying around with it.

All seems to work so far, so thank!

 - Steven
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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 17088147
damn, you're right: syntax problem, should be:

  cd /newhome; (cd /home && tar cf - heavy)|tar xf -
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